A father who killed his partner and their six-year-old son has launched a legal bid to inherit his victims’ entire £200,000 estate.
Paul Chadwick, 35, was convicted of manslaughter after repeatedly stabbing Lisa and Joseph Clay at the family’s Bolton-le-Sands home last April.
Now Miss Clay’s family have been horrified after Chadwick lodged papers at the High Court demanding access to the joint, mortgage-free £150,000 home paid for with inheritance given to Miss Clay, his son’s £30,000 trust fund, and £16,000 in joint bank accounts.
He is also demanding that his victim’s aunts, uncles and cousins, who stand to inherit the estate, pay his legal costs.
A family member, who did not wish to be named, said: “He robbed them of their lives, their futures, and now he wants to take their money. This is a matter of justice. This has caused a great deal of distress to us. The thought that Lisa’s killer can profit from his crime is too appalling for words.”
Chadwick is using a clause in the Forfeiture Act 1982 which allows killers to inherit their victim’s estate in exceptional circumstance, such as when a domestic violence victim lashes out after years of provocation.
Chadwick’s solicitors argue because he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia when he carried out the attack he is still entitled to the inheritance.
Lawyer Keith Etherington, of Slater and Gordon, who is acting for Miss Clay’s family, said: “We do not believe that the law was written to allow cases like this to succeed. We intend to fight his claim on behalf of the family.”
Chadwick was convicted of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility on the grounds he was mentally ill and was made subject of a Hospital Order.